Seals Leaking On Discovery, Repair May Delay October Flight

Monday, September 17th 2007, 3:56 pm
By: News On 6

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) _ Leaky hydraulic seals on space shuttle Discovery must be replaced, and the extra work may end up delaying next month's flight, a NASA official said Monday.

NASA plans to replace the seals in the right main landing gear strut later this week with help from contractor BF Goodrich, said George Diller, a space agency spokesman. The job includes removing the brakes, wheels and tires, and NASA was unsure how long it would take.

Discovery is scheduled to blast off Oct. 23 on a flight to the international space station. That date is in jeopardy now because of the leaking hydraulic fluid, which has been traced to faulty seals, Diller said.

The problem cropped up late last week.

During the two-week mission, astronauts will go out on five spacewalks to outfit a new space station live-in compartment that will be delivered by Discovery, and practice repairs on deliberately damaged shuttle thermal tiles.